Lindsey Graham Threatens To Bring Senate To A Halt Over $50,000 Omitted From Budget Deal

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham isn’t very happy that a $50,000 Army Corps Of Engineers project was omitted from the budget deal:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was down right incensed over the decision not to include a mere $50,000 for an Army Corps of Engineers study on deepening the Port of Charleston in his home state and vowed to “tie the Senate in knots” by holding up Obama administration nominations.

Graham started a string of angry tweets about the omission early Monday. By the end of the day, he had held a press conference on the issue in Charleston, S.C., and was blaming the Obama administration for failing to include the funding in its budget proposal released in February, arguing that 260,000 jobs are tied to the port.

“Obama Admin made a bad mistake not putting money for CHS port in their budget proposal,” he wrote.

“No nominations go forward in Senate until we address CHS port,” he tweeted, noting that the provision was not an earmark and applied to a dozen ports across the U.S.

I think the phrase spoiled child applies pretty well here.


FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Jack says:

    If it’s only $50k, why can’t the city of Charleston pay for it? I know they have a larger city budget than some podunk town.

  2. Jay Tea says:

    This, on top of his “the First Amendment is overrated” statements?

    South Carolina Republicans need to primary his ass.


  3. Vast Variety says:

    More evidence that Republicans are no where interested in actually fixing budget problems. I think that they should just make a lump “Earmark Fund” that states can go to and compete for grants from and that way all of these sorts of projects can go through that.

  4. Chad S says:

    Charleston’s already gotten millions for this project(which Sanford used to support cronies) and I believe they got the property of an abandoned Navy base for commercial/residential use for free(or very cheap).

    And shame on Tim Scott for supporting this. He ran as a tea partier committed to end wasteful spending. I guess he’s just another politician.

  5. sam says:

    But, well, you know, this is different.

  6. Neil Hudelson says:

    A few things:

    1. Regarding the city paying for it: Usually the city is reticent about these things as it is not just the study–the 50,000–but the actual deepening that needs to be done which is worrisome. The project will cost around $315 million, which the city definitely can’t afford. The state legislature and Governor are essentially saying whoever pays for the study owns it–and we aren’t going to pay for the $315 million to deepen it.

    2. The problem with this is that without deepening the harbor, SC’s economy will be crippled. The amount of cargo that goes through that port is astronomical, and mostly affects the state as a whole. Indeed, Charleston’s money comes more from Tourism than shipping goods.

    3. Lindsey Graham is doing the right thing here when it comes to his constituents (even though to the rest of the nation it seems silly). His own Governor and state gov’t wont’ pay for the study and deepening, Charleston can’t afford it, and without it being done the state will lose 2+billion dollars and thousands of jobs in trade. Ships will go to Savanna instead of Charleston.

    You can make the argument that this is SC’s issue, and not a federal one, and you’d be right. But Senator Graham is trying to harness federal funds to help his state, when his state won’t help itself. It’s what Senators are supposed to do, and while the 50K seems small, to South Carolina its a lifeline.

    The greater argument would be, of course, this is what happens when you advocate cuts at any cost without revenue enhancement.

  7. Neil Hudelson says:

    BTW, those numbers come from TPM. The issue of the port deepening has been around for quite awhile.

  8. wr says:

    I don’t know why the righties here are complaining. Graham is the perfect Tea Party policitician. He is utterly, morally opposed to any and all government spending, except that which directly benefits him and people he knows. He is completely in favor of free speech, except that which he doesn’t like.

    This is the entire Tea Party agenda in one man. So what are you complaining about?

  9. Jay Tea says:

    wr, as usual, is talking out of his ass. Most Tea Partiers can’t stand Graham.

    But here’s a fun thought for the Tea Party: why not hold a fund-raiser for Graham’s pet pork project? Tell him that they’ll pony up the 50K IF he’ll stop being an ass over this issue.

    Then, of course, primary him when he’s next up for election.

    If he has any shame, he’ll back down.

    But I wouldn’t bet on it.


  10. wr says:

    The fact that Tea Partiers don’t like Graham doesn’t mean that what he’s doing now isn’t the epitome of TP politics. All government spending is bad except that which benefits me and my friends. Freedom of speech is essential unless I don’t like what you’re saying.

  11. Jay Tea says:

    Someone wake me when wr grows a clue.


  12. mantis says:

    I love when Republicans are forced to tell the truth to protect their jobs:

    Lindsey Graham Offers Stirring Defense of Government Spending: “Will Allow Us to Create Jobs”

    Questioned Wednesday about his threat to “tie the Senate into knots” over $50,000 for a South Carolina port left out of the shutdown-averting spending deal, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) launched into an impassioned defense of the role of government in job creation.

    “If you’re a Republican and you want to create jobs, then you need to invest in infrastructure that will allow us to create jobs,” he said at a press conference with Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee on Social Security in response to a question from TPM. “Congress, Republicans and Democrats, talk about creating jobs. How can you create jobs by shutting a port down that 260,000 people depend on?”

  13. Jay Tea says:

    Yup, mantis, thanks for that one. Graham sounds EXACTLY like a Tea Partier!


  14. His own Governor and state gov’t wont’ pay for the study and deepening, Charleston can’t afford it, and without it being done the state will lose 2+billion dollars and thousands of jobs in trade.

    One of the two clauses in this sentence isn’t true. If failing to deepen the port is actually going to cost $2 billion dollars and thousands of jobs, the state is going to do it once it becomes clear the federal government isn’t.

  15. SJ Reidhead says:

    It’s about the potential loss of up to 26,000 jobs. But, the libertarians and the tea parties do have their standards. I’ve not discovered what they are, but they do have some, I think.

    The Pink Flamingo

  16. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    I have said it before and I will say it again: this jackass needs to be put out to pasture.